Politics: Trump's acting Labor secretary pick feared by unions - - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

PoliticsTrump's acting Labor secretary pick feared by unions

22:42  12 july  2019
22:42  12 july  2019 Source:   politico.com

Senate committee approves Trump pick Esper for Defense Secretary

Senate committee approves Trump pick Esper for Defense Secretary The Senate Armed Services Committee approved the nomination of Mark Esper to be the new U.S. Secretary of Defense on Thursday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Until he was nominated, Esper had been serving as Acting Defense Secretary since the previous Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan stepped down in June. With the committee voting to move forward with Esper's confirmation, his nomination will next go before the full Senate. Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

Trump's acting Labor secretary pick feared by unions© Andrew Harnik/AP Photo President Donald Trump speaks with Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, left, on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. Patrick Pizzella, who has served as deputy secretary of Labor since April 2018, will take over following Acosta’s resignation.

Patrick Pizzella, tapped by President Donald Trump on Friday to step in as acting Labor secretary, is a polarizing figure beloved by conservatives for his pro-business views and disliked by unions and Democrats for a history of opposing worker protections.

Pizzella, who has served as deputy secretary of Labor since April 2018, will take over following Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s resignation amid controversy over a plea deal that he brokered for wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as a prosecutor in Florida. Pizzella comes “highly recommended by Alex,” Trump told reporters Friday.

Acosta's resignation means Labor secretary added to list of Trump posts with 'acting' leaders

Acosta's resignation means Labor secretary added to list of Trump posts with 'acting' leaders Heavy staff turnover in President Donald Trump's administration has left more than a dozen departments and agencies without a permanent leader.

But Pizzella’s ascendance to the top of the agency tasked with enforcing labor protections is something unions have long feared. He worked alongside disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to shield the Northern Mariana Islands from federal labor laws in the 1990s, and generally has favored easing workplace regulations.

“If the president is serious about helping working people, selecting Patrick Pizzella wouldn't be the way to demonstrate that,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement. “My dealings with Patrick have been limited, but his dubious track record, including his association with Jack Abramoff, doesn't bode well."

Pizzella’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump to nominate Gene Scalia, son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for secretary of labor

Trump to nominate Gene Scalia, son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for secretary of labor President Trump on Thursday night announced he's nominating attorney Gene Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to replace Alex Acosta as secretary of labor. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Scalia, 55, is currently a partner in the Washington office of the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

The appointment is welcome news for business advocates, who had grown frustrated with Acosta’s tepid approach to deregulation.

“He’s more aligned with business, he’s more aligned with political [staff] in the department itself,” said a former administration official. “He’s liked by everyone there, he’s liked by the administration, he’s liked by the regulated communities.”

Pizzella is well-known in Washington labor circles, having served as a senior adviser in the Labor Department during the George W. Bush administration. He was a Republican member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the body that governs relations between federal unions and agencies, during the Obama administration and became chairman in 2017 when Trump took office.

As a lobbyist in the 1990s at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, Pizzella worked with Abramoff to help the Northern Mariana Islands push back against efforts to impose federal labor laws such as the minimum wage on its residents.

Chris Christie: Trump administration departures go back to 'how poorly the transition was run'

Chris Christie: Trump administration departures go back to 'how poorly the transition was run' Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) said Sunday that President Trump's "poorly" run transition team is the root of high turnover rates in the Trump administration. 

Abramoff was later convicted in a corruption scandal related to his work at the firm, but Pizzella was never implicated in any of the wrongdoing.

At Pizzella’s confirmation hearing in 2017, then-Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) read off a list of documented abuses of women workers on the islands — including forced abortion, prostitution and beatings — while Pizzella was lobbying there.

Pizzella responded that he was “not aware of any such thing,” but admitted he probably lobbied against a bill to prevent worker abuses in the Marianas.

“I don’t remember if we actually lobbied against that legislation," Pizzella said. "But I’d assume we did.”

“He has not done enough to repudiate his past record of defending companies that routinely ignored these rights, and he has not given workers adequate reason to believe that he will defend their rights in the future,” the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said in a statement opposing Pizzella’s nomination in 2017.

Unions — including the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation — refrained from calling on Acosta to resign even as the Epstein scandal reached its apex, worried that Pizzella would be far more hostile to their cause.

Still, on Friday, some unions publicly praised Acosta’s resignation.

“The facts that have emerged about Alex Acosta's role in reducing Jeffrey Epstein's sentence for his vile crimes have made it clear that he thinks there is one set of rules for the rich and powerful, and another set for everyone else,” the Communications Workers of America said in a statement. “This double standard has no role in the Labor Department or any other part of our government, and we welcome his resignation.”

Read More

New Pentagon leadership to be in hands of Senate soon.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper is expected to soon be formally nominated to lead the Pentagon, setting off a complicated leadership replacement shuffle at the highest levels of the Pentagon and the military services. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Eric Chewning, Esper's chief of staff, told reporters Tuesday that the Senate controls the timing of the confirmation hearing and vote.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!